Another Week Gone… Some Musings

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Nissan Leaf Diary

So after another week of using the Nissan Leaf, I have a few musings and gripes. Not with the car (I think it’s great) but with Nissan in General, Nissan Ireland & Topaz garages.

First off: Topaz.

I’m delighted that some Topaz garages have EV chargers in them, but the Opertaing System is absolutely rubbish. It takes ages to get the car to start charging. It’s very slow and has far too many steps to go through. Then at the end of it you have to stand in line to pay your 9, 19 or 38 cent. They cant actually process the payment until you have finished charging. Now when I start charging the car I usually go in, get a coffee and pay. In Topaz I start charging, go in,  make and pay for a coffee, wait for the car to finish then go back in and pay for the charge. Usually the cashier looks at me like I’m messed up in the head for standing in line to hand her/him 9 cent. Now that is a terribly stupid way for Topaz to run charger payment.

Next: Nissan (in general)

The car is great, I love it……. but the fact that you have to have the heater running even if you are not looking for heat is ridiculous. The heater can use up to 5kw when running. All I want is the fans to blow up at the windscreen, that shouldn’t use that much. Also if I decide to use the fresh air option, I have to have the air running at my feet as well as the windscreen. Surely a firmware update can be made that would allow you to just choose the windscreen and keep the vents to the feet closed. Also an update that would allow you to press the temperature button down until after you get to 16c degrees you have an off choice, then this would make it so that fan could be put on but the heater wouldn’t start and therefore you could save on battery charge. Simples. Oh an the ability to choose which mode (D or Eco) to be the default would be a great edition to, hopeefully it would also just take a firmware update.

Finally: Nissan Ireland

This annoys me the absolute most. The Leaf costs a lot, it’s not cheap. It costs more in the south than it does in the North. After the government rebate they are close but it is still more. So why do Nissan Ireland not provide you with a 3 pin EVSE cable like they do in the north. I have heard different reasons for this, the main one being that ESB wouldn’t certify them. Well how come I received an email saying I can have one for an additional amount. Considering I paid more than our Northern neighbours I am still getting shafted. Now unless I am mistaken (and Nissan Ireland can correct me on this) the EVSE cable charger is a 10amp lead. Wall sockets are 13amp so there is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed. The 2 times I had “range anxiety” could both have been alleviated by one of these cables. I think it is an insult to Irish customers that it is left out and that Nissan won’t give a straight reason for why it is left out. I have asked on the Nissan Ireland facebook page but have not had an answer just yet. At present you can drive up north, buy the leaf, bring it into the republic without paying any VRT, get it changed over for very little and get ESB to install a charger and you would still save more money than buying one here and then buying the cable afterwards. I think this situation should be resolved to give a better customer experience. Oh and this is nothing to do with the dealers, so no point taken it out on them, it’s Nissan Ireland that needs to correct this issue.

Anyhow, now the my annoyances are over some good things. I charged the car one day and went to work. The car had 112km of EM left. When I drove it later on, and arriving at my destination it had 133km EM left. The day had warmed up enough and with the bits of regen I was collecting on the way home, I ended up with more. The next day after I had charged it, it displayed 188km and in Eco mode 202km. Now I know I wont get that but still it was a pleasant surprise. Now to see what this week brings, maybe Nissan will send Santa with a EVSE charging cable.


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